Etching – Thin Film Removal

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1. Han, K. H., Kang, J. G., Uhm, H. S., and Kang, B. K., “Photo-resist ashing by atmospheric pressure glow discharge,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 7, 211 (2007).  Abstract: Homogeneous glow plasma at atmospheric pressure without streamers and arcing was generated by making use of a radio-frequency (RF, 13.56 MHz) power supply. Oxygen gas was added to Ar/He gas as reactive agents for photo-resist (PR) ashing. The input power, flow rate, oxygen concentration, treatment time, substrate temperature are controlled for high ashing rate and uniform ashing. Thickness of PR film was measured by NANOSPEC (AFT200) and α-Step (P-10). An unstable discharge occurs destroying the uniformity, when the input power exceeds a threshold value determined from the distance between the substrate and plasma source. An increase of oxygen quantity or temperature increase makes high ashing rate, but the ashing surface is rugged. The PR ashing rate was related to oxygen atom in plasma. The number of treatment may not be important in PR ashing at the atmospheric pressure.

2. Yang, X., Moravej, M., Babayan, S. E., Nowling, G. R., and Hicks, R. F., “Etching of uranium oxide with a non-thermal, atmospheric pressure plasma,” J. Nucl. Mater. 324, 134 (2004). Abstract: The etching of uranium oxide films was investigated with a non-thermal, atmospheric pressure plasma fed with a mixture of 2.0 kPa carbon tetrafluoride, 880.0 Pa oxygen and 97.2 kPa helium. Etching rates of up to 4.0 {mu}m/min were recorded at a 200 deg. C sample temperature. X-ray photoemission spectroscopy revealed that the etched surface was highly fluorinated, containing UOF{sub 4} species during the etching process. An average surface reaction rate was estimated to be 1.9 x 10{sup 19} UF{sub 6} molecules/m{sup 2} s.

3. Li, H. J., Wang, S. G., Zhao, L. L., and Ye, T. C., “Study on an atmospheric pressure plasma jet and its application in etching photo-resistant materials,” Plasma Sources Sci.Technol. 6, 2481 (2004). Abstract: An atmospheric pressure radio-frequency plasma jet that can eject cold plasma has been developed. In this paper, the configuration of this type of plasma jet is illustrated and its discharge characteristics curves are studied with a current and a voltage probe. A thermal couple is used to measure the temperature distribution along the axis of the jet stream. The temperature distribution curve is generated for the He/O2 jet stream at the discharge power of 150 W. This jet can etch the photo-resistant material at an average rate of 100 nm/min on the surface of silicon wafers at a right angle.

4. Tu, V. J., Jeong, J. Y., Schütze, A., Babayan, S. E., Selwyn, G. S., Ding, G., and Hicks, R. F., “Tantalum etching with a non-thermal atmospheric-pressure plasma,” J. Vac. Sci. Technol. A 18, 2799 (2000). Abstract: The objective of this work is to demonstrate a practical, atmospheric pressure plasma tool for the surface decontamination of nuclear waste. Decontamination of radioactive materials that have accumulated on the surfaces of equipment and structures is a challenging and costly undertaking for the U.S. Department of Energy. Our technology shows great promise for mitigating the cost of this clean up effort.

5. Jeong, J. Y., Babayan, S. E., Schutze, A., Tu, V. J., Park, J., Henins, I., Selwyn, G. S., and Hicks, R. F., “Etching polyimide with a nonequilibrium atmospheric-pressure plasma jet,” J. Vac. Sci. Technol. A 17, 2581 (1999). Abstract:  An atmospheric-pressure plasma jet has been used to etch polyimide films at 1.0– 8.0 60.2 mm/min at 760 Torr and between 50 and 250 °C. The plasma was produced by flowing helium and oxygen between two concentric electrodes, with the inner one coupled to 13.56 MHz rf power and the outer one grounded. The etch rate increased with the O2 partial pressure, the rf power and the substrate temperature.

6. Jeong, J. Y., Babayan, S. E., Tu, V. J., Henins, I., Velarde, J., Selwyn, G. S., and Hicks, R. F., “Etching materials with an atmospheric-pressure plasma jet,” Plasma Sources Sci. Tech. 7, 282 (1998). Abstract: A plasma jet has been developed for etching materials at atmospheric pressure and between 100 and C. Gas mixtures containing helium, oxygen and carbon tetrafluoride were passed between an outer, grounded electrode and a centre electrode, which was driven by 13.56 MHz radio frequency power at 50 to 500 W. At a flow rate of , a stable, arc-free discharge was produced. This discharge extended out through a nozzle at the end of the electrodes, forming a plasma jet. Materials placed 0.5 cm downstream from the nozzle were etched at the following maximum rates:  for Kapton ( and He only),  for silicon dioxide,  for tantalum and  for tungsten. Optical emission spectroscopy was used to identify the electronically excited species inside the plasma and outside in the jet effluent.

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